by Joyce McKnight
In numerous cases, quality has little to do with cheap or inexpensive. Kale is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to taste, nutrition, and cheap, cheap, cheap. Also you will be, in my opinion, hard pressed to come up with a contender that could outshine the taste and nutrition of dry beans. When you pay for those high-priced, processed food items, in too many cases, you are paying for advertising and packaging. The quality may or may not be inside. I eat mainly a plant based diet and absolutely love it. What society puts a value on may or may not be congruent with its inherent value.
A case in point is that dandelion greens are absolutely a miracle food and often viewed basically as a weed. Parsley is a fantastic, highly-nutritious green that is basically viewed as decoration. What about a sprig of parsley thrown into a smoothie for some extra nutrition. Or perhaps a sprig or two of cheap parsley thrown into a homemade soup. The choices are limitless. Don't have money for breakfast? What about a 13-cent banana? It surely beats having nothing and is loaded with good nutrition. You would be hard pressed to beat the benefits of a simple banana breakfast. Even a lot of sugar laden cereals couldn't match it.
Another way to prepare inexpensive nutritious meals is to implement whole grains. You can purchase whole grain oats in the bin for extra savings if you choose or buy boxed on the shelf. I buy my whole grains in the bins now, and I absolutely love the quality so far. I eat whole grain oatmeal five days a week with a fruit. You don't need much; whole grains fill you up. I sweeten my oatmeal with local honey. The whole grains will take longer to cook so plan for extra cooking time.
For a large breakfast crowd, I have had fantastic success slow cooking whole grain oatmeal in a crock pot. Break out of that box. You can eat oatmeal for dinner, too. It is certainly a bargain when compared with other options that are not nutritional heavy weights like oatmeal. So with some knowledge and a little planning, it is very possible, even in today's world, to eat well. When you are eating cheap, you must be careful and be mindful that buying cheap is the way to go. Eating cheap can deprive the body of needed nutrients for optimum health. Eating cheap and buying cheap are not synonymous.
Joyce McKnight is a Home Economist and an advocate for consumer awareness. To learn more about frugality, see www.frugaltoolbox.blogspot.com.